Environment

Ken-Betwa: Forest body for lowering dam height

However, building the dam means encroaching into Madhya Pradesh’s Panna Tiger reserve and inundating 6,221 hectares when full.   | Photo Credit: R. Sreenivasa Murthy

The Environment Ministry’s Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) has said the Ken-Betwa river-interlinking project should consider reducing the height of the proposed Dhaudan dam by at least 5 metres as well as re-aligning the main water-bearing canal to minimise the use of forest land. The FAC is a body that decides on whether forest land can be given up for industrial projects,

“The height of the Dhaudan dam may be re-examined in the interest of conserving the Park and the committee recommends that the height may be reduced by 10 meters if not at least 5 metre as a trade-off between conservation and development,” said a report by a sub-committee of the FAC.

The project involves building a 77-m tall and 2-km wide dam and a 230-km long canal to transfer water from the Ken river and irrigate 3.64 lakh hectares in the Bundelkhand region of U.P. and Madhya Pradesh. However, building them means encroaching into Madhya Pradesh’s Panna Tiger reserve and inundating 6,221 hectares — 4,141 of which is core forest — when the reservoir is filled to the brim.

‘Non-negotiable’

The project has been cleared over the last year by several government authorities such as the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) and the Expert Appraisal Committee. The FAC deliberated on the subcommittee report on March 30 and its decision is expected to be made public later this week.

Two officials in the Water Ministry told The Hindu that reducing the dam height was non-negotiable.


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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 11:00:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/ken-betwa-forest-body-for-lowering-dam-height/article17758908.ece

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